Best Coast/California Nights

California Nights

Best Coast is an American rock duo formed in Los Angeles, California in 2009. The band consists of songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno. Cosentino, a former child actress, began writing music as a teenager and was formerly a member of the experimentalist drone group Pocahaunted. After a brief tenure at college inNew York City, Cosentino returned to the West Coast and began recording lo-fi demos with Bruno, whom she met in the Los Angeles music scene.

After a string of 7-inch and cassette-only singles, the band signed to Mexican Summer, who issued the band’s debut, Crazy for You, in 2010. Crazy for You became an unexpected commercial success following Internet buzz surrounding the duo. Best Coast added a touring drummer, Ali Koehler of Vivian Girls, and spent much of 2011 on the road for festival appearances and tour dates. Best Coast’s sophomore effort, The Only Place, was released in 2012 and featured a cleaner sound than their previous releases. In 2013, the duo released an EP, Fade Away, and their third studio album, California Nights, is currently set for release on May 4, 2015.

The Analysis—-

Feeling OK—-With a simple guitar line to begin the track, the band kicks into full form by the second bar, The familiar guitar jangle is there…and the vocal is warm and comforting. The track is a bit noisier than i anticipated…some of the beach vibe from early releases gone and a fuzzier approach is more evident. Really a nice sound with the guitar line though!

Fine Without You—-This track is introduced with a lot more urgency and pace. The vocal is pretty stellar…overlayed and giving you back that almost 50’s sound that reminds me of what I term Beach Music. This is very 80’s influenced…damn catchy and pleasant.

Heaven Sent—-A huge Alternative sound introduces this track and there is a sudden speed to the line pick-up that takes me aback. The vocal is incredible…reminding me of the best retro girl groups that were yesteryear heroes. This is fantastic…melodic…fast and anything but boring! I’m very pleased!!!!

In My Eyes—-Fuzzy with a familiar guitar line running through the belly of the song, the vocal is a bit more straight forward and less retro. The song has a bit of noise travelling through the underbelly of it. This release is much more aggressive than previous releases….but when that chorus hits…..you will just say WOW!!

So Unaware—-Wonderfully jangly and with layered vocals, this is right back to the retro sound of the band that made me fall in love to begin with. This is so throwback….but delivered with a modern day urgency that it manages to sound brand new and fresh. I just love this beach pop movement that has surfaced in recent years!

When Will I Change—-Musically a bit darker…..but that damn vocal enters and seems to brighten everything up. The high jangle of the guitar is so in tune with the voice…it is like a well oiled machine working together. This is perfect pop music with a nice Indie lean…you have to hear this CD!!!

Jealousy—-Wonderfully retro with a huge jangle of guitars, this is just about pure perfect pop mastery. The lyrics are serious…but almost manage to take on a fun edge with the happy feel of the music…this is mastery….I would really love to catch this band live!

California Nights—- Darker and with more fuzz,  the subtle drug references surprise me a bit. The voice has a slight sadness with a tinge around the edge that makes me a bit down. The song is very full…the instrumentation seems to be layer on top of layer…creating a huge song that although heavier in content is very pleasant to the palate. This is a favorite…I guess because it sounds so different than expected.

Fading Fast—-Returning to a more traditional and expected sound, this is fun..poppy and with a happy tinge. Have no doubt though…this is not a happy song….only a handful of bands can take serious topics and apply them to a happy soundtrack and pull it off. I do love the layered vocals….wondering ho it will play live though.

Run Through My Head—-Full of static and fuzz at the onset, the song brightens up with the familiar jangle. This is brilliant….a sad break-up song that sounds so damn happy and easy to swallow. How does this happen. The dual vocals are classic 50’s sounding beach pop….this is almost perfect!

Sleep Won’t Ever Come—-Damn brilliant from the very first note….the fuzz combines with the vocal to build a huge song. The voices seem to double and triple at certain places in the track.,,,,,this is not a happy song….but damn it is pleasant as hell…..a certain contradiction.

Wasted Time—-Ending this release with a subtle and stripped down sound, the layers of vocals give the track much more body than it actually has. This is pretty…intense and a perfect way to close out a damn stellar release. I will have this on heavy rotation all summer long.

****1/2 out of 5

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